“This program has won multiple international and domestic awards and has again been recognised with its nomination for the Stan Joyce Award at this year’s SP Sports Awards,” said CPNG.
“It has grown substantially since its inception and has now surpassed 1.5 million participants, which is an outstanding result. It provides employment for approximately 60 CPNG staff and has been used as a blueprint for other entry level programs now in use around the associate cricket world.
“It has been a breeding ground for producing our international stars with many receiving their introduction to cricket through BSP School Kriket as small children.
“The last two U19 Garamut teams have had all squad members pass through the BSP program so in years to come, this 100 percent participation rate may equate to our national senior men’s (Barramundis) and women’s (Lewas) teams!
“There are many currently in the national senior sides, one of whom is Barramundis keeper-batsman, Kipling Doriga, who participated in BSP School Kriket in 2010.”
Doriga said he was eleven years old when he joined the program.
“I remember enjoying the BSP School Kriket program. I had former national players; John Ovia (now Barramundis Assistant Coach), Norma Ovasuru and Jacob Mado as the development officers that visited Butuka Primary School.
“They taught me all the basic skills of batting, bowling and fielding as well as the rules. I loved playing in the Blast competitions at the end of the term, I always got picked and enjoyed the team atmosphere.
“This was where I dreamt of playing for PNG and thankfully, it came true. I would like to thank BSP, and I hope to see my children playing in a BSP Blast in the future.”
Another national star is Lewa’s Brenda Tau, also a keeper and talented batswoman.
Tau’s introduction to BSP School Kriket was as a twelve-year-old at Lae Primary School.
“The program taught me the fundamentals of cricket and encouraged me to want to play club cricket on the weekends. I was identified there by CPNG National Talent Identification manager and former Barramundi, Rodney Maha, and my journey to becoming a Lewa begun.”
Tau added: “I would not be where I am today without BSP School Kriket program. I’m now a professional cricketer representing my country. I have realised my dream; I have made lifelong friends and have many cherished memories from being a shy Lae Primary School girl to being a leader in the PNG Lewas, playing cricket all over the world.”
The program continues in schools and is one of the longest running continuous sponsorship programs in community development and sport in PNG.